from Society of the Spectacle, Guy Debord (Black and Red: 1970)
Using the texts you’ve found for your commodity, produce 10 sketches that experiment with different dimensions of typographic form considered as design gimmick. In terms of the gimmick, think about how typographic form follows, as something over- or under-achieving (hard-working or not working hard enough), from its technology of production.
As you choose each text to work with, give attention to its precise editorial quality: is it pithy, long-winded, expert, dumb, catchy, annoying?
The typographic form you develop in your sketches might be uniquely related to the content of the text, or it might rather stage an independent investigation into graphic design form as gimmick.
Consider the ten sketches as a series, but one that for the moment has no generic specification — that is, you’re not making a poster or an advertisement or a brochure or a catalogue, but rather just typography.
Sianne Ngai (Harvard University Press: 2020)
Present to the class a specific genre of marketing or sales literature. Tell us about what sort of content and what sort of forms your genre includes. Tell the history of the genre. Some possible examples: brochures, trifolds, sell sheets, mail order catalogs, specification sheets, radio jingles, assembly manuals, google ad, classified ad, etc.
Your presentation should be 10 minutes long and include as many visual examples as you can find.
The first phase of work is focused on language. You will find or generate 10 different texts about your commodity. These should be texts that expresses that extra, mysterious, spiritual, enigmatical quality of the commodity. These texts could be found in advertising and marketing literature, but also in fiction and imaginative literature more generally. You could also experiment with writing (or “generating”) these texts yourself, or getting someone else to do it. One text could be a simple as a product byline or as expansive as an entire novel.
Devise typographical forms for your texts that are continuous with, or otherwise relate to, the enigmatical qualities of the commodity it describes. Go further, go very far indeed, and contrive typographical gimmicks, that are gimmicks in their own right without necessary relation to your commodity subject, for the production of these forms.
Karl Marx, from Capital, Volume 1 (New Left Press: 1976)
Philip K. Dick (Doubleday: 1969).